Football: Thornley in Francis's side

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Huddersfield Town 2

Edwards 12, Thornley 48


Attendance: 11,276

BOTTOM OF the table and pounds 5.6 million in debt, QPR showed returning manager Gerry Francis what they could do - not much. Huddersfield, reinforcing their position at the top of the First Division, were comfortable winners.

It did not make pleasant viewing for Francis, donning his working clothes for the first time since the parting of the ways with Tottenham 11 months ago. Three rows in front of him at the McAlpine Stadium sat Peter Reid, whose Sunderland side are due on the Terriers' turf on Wednesday and whose standards Francis will seek to emulate. He has a long way to go.

Huddersfield still do not convince impartial observers that they will still be in front next May. They were outplayed by Bolton last month and lost heavily to Swindon. But they were good enough here, and easily better than QPR.

Huddersfield's goals came from full back Rob Edwards and the eye-catching winger, Ben Thornley, each impressively put away to lift a contest in which good ideas were often let down by poor execution.

The first, after 12 minutes, followed a clumsy foul by Danny Maddix on Marcus Stewart that presented a free-kick to Huddersfield just short of 25 yards out. In a well-rehearsed routine, Thornley provided a decoy run as Barry Horne rolled the ball for Edwards to strike left-footed, curling his shot around a breaking defensive wall.

Thornley, at pounds 175,000 a bargain from Manchester United, was the best player on view, supplying a service from the left flank that strikers Stewart and Wayne Allison should have made more of. Genuinely two-footed, he scored with his right, catching the on-loan Ludek Miklosko off his line with a 20-yard shot that soared over the head of the goalkeeper before dipping under the bar.

The visitors, though tidy in midfield and not lacking experienced players, had no cutting edge, rarely troubling the Huddersfield back four and not looking like scoring until Edwards blocked a Kevin Gallen effort on the line with four minutes remaining.

"It has shown me today in no uncertain terms that there is a lot of work to do," Francis said afterwards. "But I've gone into the job with my eyes open and we will turn it round."